Greyhounds throw themselves into a dramatic win
All’s well that ends well.
The Austin Greyhounds had their struggles, but they won their season opener in dramatic fashion as Isaac Schumacher came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, where he threw out the game-tying run to give the Hounds a 9-8 win over the Waseca Braves on opening night in Marcusen Park Wednesday.
Schumacher was playing left field when he charged on a hopping single and fired it home to catcher Hunter Guyette, who had a split second to place the tag. Schumacher had to wait a long time to get in the game, but he and his teammates have been waiting all summer just to play a game.
Schumacher had no time to hesitate on the final throw.
“You’ve just got to be ready. Anything can happen. I saw, it and I was like ‘here we go.’ The ball was wet and I was focused on not losing it. Then I let her rip, that’s all you can do,” he said. “Being at Marcusen, regardless of the circumstances, is always super exciting. This wasn’t something that we expected to happen so soon, but what a game. What a team win. Everyone contributed and we couldn’t have been more happy with it.”
Schumacher’s young brother Andrew scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth when Angel Santiago pushed the Hounds ahead 9-8 after Waseca fumbled away his two-out ground ball to first base right after Michael O’Connor had laced a two-out, two-run single to right field to pull the Hounds within 8-7.
O’Connor picked up the win in relief for the Hounds as he pitched the Hounds out of a jam in the top of the eighth.
“It felt good to be back,” O’Connor said. “Baseball’s back and it’s time to have fun again.”
The Hounds had runners on first and third with two outs while trailing 6-5 in the seventh when Miguel Castro popped out. Austin had scored twice in the inning off a Waseca throwing error and a sacrifice fly by Alex Ciola.
Waseca’s Kyle Waugh put the Hounds in a 6-2 hole when he blasted a 400-foot, two-run homer to left-center field in the top of the seventh inning.
After the Hounds struggled with their bats for the first four frames, John Kirby broke the ice when he blooped a two-out, two-run single into shallow right field to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth.
Waseca 2 0 0 0 0 1 3 2 0 – 8 11 5
Hounds 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 4 X – 9 7 2
Hounds pitching: Josi Bothun 4 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 ER, 5 K; John Kirby, 3 1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 ER, 1 K; Michael O’Connor (W) 1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 0 R 1 K; Alex Ciola (S), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K
Hounds hitting: Dan Bollingberg, 2-for-5, 3 R; Alex Ciola, 1-for-3, double, RBI, 3 R, 2 BBs; Jordan Hart, 1-for-4, BB, SB, R; John Kirby, 1-for-1, 3 RBIs, BB; Angel Santiago, 0-for-4, HBP; Hunter Guyette, 1-for-4, BB; Miguel Castro, 0-for-4; Jack Dankert, 0-for-2, R 2 BBs; Anthony Ciola, 0-for-2; Mark Harber, 0-for-1; Riley Retterath, 0-for-1; Michael O’Connor, 1-for-1, 2 RBIs; Andrew Schumacher, R